Dwight M. (Dewey) from RUTLAND, MA Reviewed on 10/11/2006...
This is an unbiased review, as I'm not trying to swap this CD. I own this disc along with many other Jackson Browne CD's, and I would have to say this is one of my absolute favs. The song writing is fantastic and it has some of my favorite songs on it. Every once in a while an album like this comes along and is passed over by the critics and music buying public (I can't figure out why!). It makes me feel good, that I own it and know how terrific it REALLY IS! Next to "Running On Empty" this is his BEST work - IMHO. Dewey
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!!!
Erik J. Fortmeyer | Brooklyn, NY USA | 07/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If "tragedy is the fuel of genius", then the breakup of Darryl Hanna and Jackson Browne is pure Saturn V rocket fuel. I have owned "I'm Alive" for eight years now and every time I go back and play it again after a while, I am always astounded at how much I still LOVE this album! I was born in 1966 so the music of Jackson Browne has, for better or worse, been around me my entire life. "Running On Empty", "Doctor My Eyes", "Late for the Sky", "That Girl Could Sing", among others have been the source of plenty of blissful moments in my years but, even I wasn't ready for the musical joy that emanated from my speakers one night in late 1993 upon hearing "I'm Alive" the first time! The opening notes of the title track set you in the right mood for a fun listen. By the fifth track, you begin to realize that those opening notes were just the tip of an iceberg of musical and lyrical genius. A mixed bag of musicians and background vocalists were assembled for the ten ballads on this 47 minute album yet, they never clutter up or distract the listener from Jackson's central story of a very significant relationship going south. The remarkable thing is how he relates this melancholy theme without depressing you. The songs are wonderfully balanced with trademark Jackson Browne guitars, piano, bass, and drums usually stripped down to near acoustic simplicity with stunning effect. I earnestly do not believe that Jackson has ever sounded as good vocally as he does here, particularly when he is playing piano. "Sky Blue and Black" may just be the most astounding song Jackson has ever done. The other four odd numbered songs make up the rest of the upbeat songs with the title track and "Take This Rain" being standouts. This incredible album ends most appropriately with the soaring "All Good Things" containing the refrain "All good things got to come to an end; The thrills have to fade; Before they come `round again". The album that came after this was a bit of a disappointment but, that is to be expected after a musician comes down off the inspired mountain writing about an intense period in his life.The bottom line: This is THE Jackson Browne album to own if you plan to own just one. You will not be disappointed in the least. If you decide you would like another of his albums that is also quite good, take a listen to "Late For the Sky"."
ONE MORE FROM THE HEART
craig_paul | Pittsburgh, PA | 08/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the early and mid - 1970's, Jackson Browne released a string of albums (Jackson Browne, For Everyman, Late For The Sky, and The Pretender) that were about as good as it gets, both musically and especially lyrically. His introspective and personal writing style evoked emotion with every spin of the turntable. In fact, had he vanished after Late For The Sky, I still believe he would have to be counted among the best singer - songwriters of all time. Luckily for Browne's fans, he has returned, some 17 years after The Pretender, to writing songs of love and loss, of hope and despair. I'm Alive is an excellent album, and matches (almost) Late For The Sky, thus only a four - star rating. For anyone else, this would be a five - star album. Browne has said, that even with the advent of the compact disc, he still prefers to use the word "record" when referring to a recording, as it represents a "record" of his life at the time the songs are written. This is, sometimes painfully, obvious here. The singer leaves pieces of his guts strewn on nearly every track; the songs are at once beautiful and sad, Jackson Browne's trademark. "Take This Rain," "Too Many Angels" and especially the brilliantly phrased "Sky Blue And Black," which is as good a ballad as this troubador has ever penned, are all guaranteed tear - jerkers. The only caveat here is that, if you've just had a relationship fall apart, you may want to wait a little while before buying this disc. When Jackson Browne sings of broken hearts, he's also singing FOR broken hearts, and it can hit close to home. That's why he's the best at what he does."
Broken Wing | Michigan | 07/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not only clearly Jackson Browne's best album, it is easily one of the best albums I have EVER heard.
Written in the aftermath of a painful breakup, Jackson proves himself a poet in his own right; any one of these songs could easily stand on its own as a poem, but is made much more powerful by the addition of outstanding music. The raw emotion and lyrical quality of this album are very moving.
"Sky Blue and Black" is one the best songs EVER and I also particularly enjoyed "two of me and two of you." What's more, these songs compose a complete cyle, with each song building on the previous one and leading into the next one. It's rare that an album forms such a complete work of art.
If you only every buy one Browne album, this is the one to own. The more I listen to it, even years after the original purchase, the more I love it.
It will hit a nerve with anyone who has ever been through a difficult breakup.
Jackson is a poetic genius!"
His best work in years
David Williams | Burlingame, CA USA | 04/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a Jackson Browne fan since the early 70's, and Saturate Before Using, Late for the Sky, and For Everyman have always been three of my favorite albums. But somewhere along the way in the late 70's Jackson seemed to lose his direction, David Lindley left the band, and his music sort of lost its appeal to me.I believe this CD is Browne's best work in years. Terrific lyrics, great melodies, nice hooks. I find myself humming a song like "My Problem Is You" while driving in the car, and the reggae rap of "Everywhere I Go" makes me smile -- not the JB people expect. Still, a song like "I'll Do Anything" reminds me of the romantic JB from the mid 70's.If you haven't listened to a Jackson Browne album in a long time, try this one out. Highly recommended."